Are beeswax candles better? Better than what, you may ask? We consider beeswax better than any other candle wax and have chosen to only make natural beeswax candles. Here’s why.
Beeswax has been used for centuries to make candles. Beeswax has always been the more expensive choice and often only the wealthy or royalty were able to afford it. Today it is considered by many a worthwhile but affordable luxury. Here are the good things about beeswax and the not so good things.
Reasons to buy beeswax
- Can be shipped in all weather conditions because of its high melt point
- Is thought to have the ability to purify air
- Burns cleanly
- Naturally long burning
- Pure and natural
- On the light spectrum the light produced by the large bright flame is believed by some to be close to that of natural sunlight
- The only candle wax completely in its native state – no additives or hydrogenation
Reasons not to buy beeswax
- Considered pricier than other waxes
- Beeswax can be combined with other waxes to reduce manufacturing costs and still be called beeswax. Be sure to always look for 100% pure beeswax products
The most common candle wax is paraffin.
Reasons to buy paraffin
- It is cheap
- Readily available
Reasons not to buy paraffin
- From a non-renewable source
- Processed petroleum by-product
- Creates a large amount of black sticky soot that can cover your walls and cling in the air for your family to breath
- Polymers are added to raise the melting point and improve burning qualities
- Paraffin candles are known to drip without additives
- Often scented with artificial fragrance
- Often bleached and dyed with toxic colorants
- Some of the added chemicals that make up paraffin are also found in cigarettes
Soy wax candles are rapidly gaining popularity. In third world countries there have been some questionable environmental practices in the production of soy. It is worthwhile finding out if the soy wax you are purchasing is imported and if so is it produced ethically and safely.
Reasons to buy soy wax candles
- A renewable resource
- No known toxins in the raw wax
- Low melt temperature
- Burns cleanly
- Can be cleaned up with soap and water
Reasons to not buy soy wax candles
- Soy wax is typically made from genetically modified soy, then bleached and hydrogenated
- Aesthetically, soy wax is not beautiful and candles are prone to bumps and lesions while burning
- On the light spectrum the flame is cool toned and small
- Soy wax goes rancid without preservatives
- Some soy wax candles contain additives and hardeners
- Toxic pesticides are often used on soy crops
- Limited variety of candles because the wax is so soft. Not suitable for pillars, tapers or ornamentals
- Requires large amounts of agricultural land and processing
- Often scented with synthetic fragrances
- Soy wax is difficult to ship in hot weather because it may melt
Palm Wax is a candle wax that produces beautiful crystalline patterns. It is produced in Asia.
Reasons to buy palm wax candles
- Palm crops do not require as many fossil fuels in their production as compared to soy
- Beautiful crystalline structured wax.
- Palm trees may produce 3,200 kg oil/hectare per year while soybeans produce on average only 351 kg oil/hectare per year
- Free of petroleum products
- Burns cleanly and without soot
- No toxins or carcinogens
- Burns slowly
- A renewable resource
- Not genetically modified
- It is thought to help eradicate poverty by creating jobs in poorer countries
Reasons to not buy palm wax candles
- Imported (mostly from Malaysia)
- Pesticides are often used in the production
- Is thought to be responsible for deforestation and displacement of wildlife
- Like other natural waxes it can be combined with paraffin which negates the benefits
Now it’s all up to you to decide if beeswax candles are better. If you haven’t already, we hope you try burning them. Then tell us what you think.
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Photo by Marlie Marchewka